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Friday, November 27, 2009

What Is It About Staunton and the Mentally Insane?

Did you know that the city of Staunton once hosted the site of the commonwealth's largest lunatic asylum?

Did you know that it will again soon?

Of course we don't refer to the mentally handicapped ... er, mentally deficient ... er, those with intellectual capacity challenges as being lunatics anymore.  We refer to them as ... well, God only knows what the politically correct term for those who are nuts is.

But in 1828 they were called lunatics.

And in that year the Western Lunatic Asylum opened its doors.

It soon it came to look like this:

And what a breathtakingly imposing facility it was.

Today, unfortunately, the asylum, now abandoned, looks like this:

If you've never seen this massive complex of buildings (which sits just to the west of  I-81 and east of the Wal-Mart Super Center on Richmond Avenue), you've missed something.  It was - and is - a beautiful example of American architecture at its best.

And such a waste it is.

For wasting away it is.

But wait:
Va plans new psychiatric hospital
Associated Press

Staunton, Va. (AP) -- Gov. Tim Kaine will be on hand for the groundbreaking on a new psychiatric hospital that continues a long Virginia tradition.

A new $125 million, 246-bed Western State Hospital is being built in Staunton by a Fairfax construction firm.

The new facility is slated to open in 2013. [link]
So.  We're building a new lunatic asylum.  In that same Staunton.  At a cost of $125 million.

What's wrong with the old one, one might ask?

I'll venture a guess and say it's too run-down to house guests adequately.

So we're going to spend $125 million on a brand-spanking new facility.


I think I know who the first attendees should be.  

In Denial

One of the Washington Post's less gifted columnists, Eugene Robinson, comes to the defense of those climate scientists who have been caught red-handed fudging their data and trying (successfully) to manipulate the press.  And an odd defense it is:
Tell it to the ice caps

Stop hyperventilating, all you climate-change deniers. The purloined e-mail correspondence published by skeptics last week -- portraying some leading climate researchers as petty, vindictive and tremendously eager to make their data fit accepted theories -- does not prove that global warming is a fraud. [link]
That's true.  It doesn't prove that global warming is a fraud.  But a careful reading of the emails proves that the research coming out of the leading global warming research facility on the planet is indeed a fraud.  From start to finish.  All of it.

But here's a more exasperating part of the deniers' claim:

Phil Jones, the head of the Climatic Research Unit, released a statement Wednesday saying, "My colleagues and I accept that some of the published e-mails do not read well." That would be an example of British understatement.

In one message sent to a long list of colleagues, Jones speaks of having completed a "trick" with recent temperature data to "hide the decline." The word "trick" is hardly a smoking gun -- scientists use it to refer to clever but perfectly legitimate ways of handling data. But the "hide the decline" part refers to a real issue among climate researchers called the "divergence problem."

To plot temperatures going back hundreds or thousands of years -- long before anyone was taking measurements -- you need a set of data that can serve as an accurate proxy. The width of tree rings was found to correlate well with temperature readings, and extrapolating that correlation into the past yields the familiar "hockey stick" graph -- fairly level temperatures for eons, followed by a sharp incline beginning around 1900. This is attributed to human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuels and the resulting increase in heat-trapping atmospheric carbon dioxide.

But beginning around 1960, tree-ring data diverge from observed temperatures. Skeptics say this calls into question whether tree-ring data are valid for earlier periods on the flat portion of the hockey stick -- say, 500 or 1,000 years ago. Jones and others acknowledge they don't know what the divergence means, but they point to actual temperatures: It's warmer now than it was 100 years ago.
And how does Mr. Robinson know that it's warmer today than it was 100 years ago?  Because Phil Jones and his nest of snakes have told him so.

The global warming promoters are right because they say they're right.

For the love of God.

Wake up, Eugene.  And start thinking before you embarrass yourself further.

And Speaking of Deniers

The Roanoke Times, being heavily invested in the notion that the planet is heating up and humans are causing it to, comes out with its own pronouncement on the growing Climategate crisis.  Its take?

Ain't no thang:
The scientific theories and immense body of evidence that shows global climate change is happening and that humans contribute to it remains secure.

What the pilfered documents do show is that scientists are human beings, and sometimes not very pleasant ones.
Of course, the kids at the Times would just as soon you'd forget that the"immense body of evidence" that "secures" the theory as being legitimate has come largely from the university that is at the heart of this scandal.  And from the very "scientists" who are in real jeopardy of ending up in prison for their nefarious actions.

Poor fools.  Who would have ever thought that it would come to this?

- - -

As a side note: The Roanoke Times calls the emails "pilfered" and makes representation that they were obtained by a computer hacker. I'll wager that the news will eventually come out that the whistle blower actually resides within the university, the whistle blower being a man or woman who was close to those who routinely manufactured the data and who had had enough of the lies and deceit.

Where's The Mainstream Press?

With their heads stuck up their ... looking the other way.  As usual.
Big Media Ask: What Climate Scandal?
By L. Brent Bozell III, writing in Investor's Business Daily

Here's a dirty little secret about the New York Times: It likes to leak things. Important things. Things that change the course of the public conversation. From the Pentagon Papers to the ruined terrorist-surveillance programs of the Bush era, the Times has routinely found that secrecy is a danger and sunlight is a disinfectant.

Until now. A troublesome hacker recently released e-mails going to and from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Britain, e-mails that exposed how the "scientific experts" cited so often by the media on global warming are guilty of crude political talk, attempts at censoring opponents and twisting scientific data to support their policy agenda.

The e-mails prove just how dishonest this left-wing global warming agenda truly is.

And now suddenly, the New York Times has found religion and won't publish these private e-mails. [link]
So what bigger news graces the front page of the New York Times this morning?  News even bigger than the worst scandal to hit the scientific community in history?

At the Stroke of Midnight, the Shopping Began

I can see how that would bump Climategate. Shopping decisions.  Closeouts.  Where to go to get Zhu Zhu Pets ...

Joke Of The Day

From James Taranto:

Q: How many climate scientists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. There's a consensus that it's going to change, so they've decided to keep us in the dark.

It's come to this.

Will The Democrats Still Pursue Cap-n-Tax?

Pursue it despite the fact that the reason for its being is now in question?  That reason being the control of carbon emissions so as to mitigate the advancement and effects of "global warming"?  That globe that isn't warming?

Kimberley Strassel, writing in the Wall Street Journal, says we should never underestimate the Democrats' lack of common sense:
The more than 3,000 emails and documents from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) that have found their way to the Internet have blown the lid off the "science" of manmade global warming. CRU is a nerve center for many of those researchers who have authored the United Nations' global warming reports and fueled the political movement to regulate carbon.

Their correspondence show a claque of scientists massaging data to make it fit their theories, squelching scientists who disagreed, punishing academic journals that didn't toe the apocalyptic line, and hiding their work from public view. "It's no use pretending that this isn't a major blow," glumly wrote George Monbiot, a U.K. writer who has been among the fiercest warming alarmists. The documents "could scarcely be more damaging." And that's from a believer.

This scandal has real implications.

Still, if this Democratic Washington has demonstrated anything, it's that ideology often trumps common sense. Egged on by the left, dug in to their position, Democrats might plow ahead. They'd be better off acknowledging that the only "consensus" right now is that the world needs to start over on climate "science."
"Ideology trumps common sense."  That pretty well sums it up.  Despite all the unanswered questions - and now the revelation that the data used to support the notion that the planet has been dramatically warming was horribly and intentionally skewed - Obama's off to Copenhagen to promise the world U.S. caps on future carbon emissions so as to ...

Why?  No one knows any more.

- - -

Perhaps Why was never an issue:
Why 'climategate' won't stop greens
By Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun

If you're wondering how the robot-like march of the world's politicians towards Copenhagen can possibly continue in the face of the scientific scandal dubbed "climategate," it's because Big Government, Big Business and Big Green don't give a s*** about "the science."

They never have.

What "climategate" suggests is many of the world's leading climate scientists didn't either. Apparently they stifled their own doubts about recent global cooling not explained by their computer models, manipulated data, plotted ways to avoid releasing it under freedom of information laws and attacked fellow scientists and scientific journals for publishing even peer-reviewed literature of which they did not approve.

Now they and their media shills -- who sneered that all who questioned their phony "consensus" were despicable "deniers," the moral equivalent of those who deny the Holocaust -- are the ones in denial about the enormity of the scandal enveloping them.

So they desperately try to portray it as the routine "messy" business of science, lamely insisting, "nothing to see here folks, move along."

The problem, however, is those who hijacked science to predict a looming Armageddon unless we do exactly as they say, have already done their damage.

The moment they convinced politicians the way to avert the End of Days was to put a price on emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the unholy alliance of Big Government, Big Business and Big Green was forged.

Big Government wants more of your taxes. Big Business wants more of your income. Big Green wants you and your children to bow down to its agenda of enforced austerity.

What about saving the planet, you ask? This was never about saving the planet. This is about money and power. Your money. Their power. [link]
Frightening in its implications, isn't it?